Continue positive trend

After drawing their last two matches, the Rothosen hope to go one better anf finally claim their first league win of the season away to fellow-strugglers Darmstadt 98 on Bundesliga matchday 13 on Sunday afternoon (05.12.16, 3.30 PM). Albin Ekdal and Bobby Wood are available for selection again.

The pre-Christmas period began this week. A time for reflection perhaps? Not for HSV! They face four crucial games in only 17 days leading up to the winter break. 12 massive points up for grabs. Four games during which only total focus will do: "A real sprint until Christmas", says Rothosen boss Markus Gisdol.

The first game of that hectic schedule takes place on Sunday afternoon away to Darmstadt 98. Around HSV 2,500 fans have made the trip south. Darmstadt – known as the Lilies have 8 points so far – all collected from home games, which underlines the difficulty of the task facing the Rothosen: “It will be a tough battle as opposed to a skilful game”, said HSV’s on-loan at Darmstadt striker Sven Schipplock in an interview with this week.

"Sole focus on ourselves"

"We have to accept the challenge", Gisdol told the press ahead before leaving Hamburg for the game. The coach knows that to succeed on Sunday the visitors must force their game on the home side and in doing so continue the positive trend shown in their last two games which ended in draws. It all began after the break against Dortmund. In that game the goal drought was finally ended as HSV grabbed two goals. Hamburg then went on tow score twice against Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen. Both games ending in 2-2 draws. Only a win will do on Sunday. Gisdol again: "We must solely focus on ourselves and not allow other games or results to distract us. Of course it would be great to finally win, but the most important thing is that we continue to play our brand of football", knows the Hamburg coach.

Same team again?

Gisdol is relieved to have two key men available for selection on Sunday with the return from injury of Albin Ekdal  and USA forward Bobby Wood back from a three game ban. Gisdol: “It is important to have alternatives.” Emir Spahic is making good progress after having fully trained with the team for the past couple of days. The Darmstadt game however comes too early for him and he has not travelled with the team. So the burning question is of course: Will Gisdol ring the changes or play the same team for the third game in succession? Let us all hope that after two draws the Rothosen can make it third time lucky and finally take maximum points from a league game for the first time this season.

HSV (from): Mathenia, Mickel, Diekmeier, Djourou, Douglas Santos, Ekdal, Götz, Gregoritsch, Holtby, Hunt, Jung, Kostic, Lasogga, N. Müller, Ostrzolek, Sakai, Waldschmidt, Wood

Possible Darmstadt 98 line-up: Esser - Fedetskyy, Milosevic, Sulu, Guwara - Jungwirth, Vrancic - Sirigu, Kleinheisler, Heller - Colak

Referee: Guido Winkmann (Kerken)